Page 541 - Week 02 - Thursday, 21 February 1991

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Thursday, 21 February 1991


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR DUBY (Minister for Finance and Urban Services) (10.30): Mr Speaker, I present the Stock Bill 1991. I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this Bill repeals the Stock Act 1934 and replaces it with the Stock Act 1991. The rural industry is a strong part of the ACT economy, providing a much needed diversification to our economic base. The gross annual value of rural production in the ACT is estimated to be some $25m. Cattle raising for beef, or for breeding stock, is the second most important rural industry in the south-east region, with a gross annual production valued at approximately $74m.

This Government is committed to updating ACT legislation, particularly where it will bring consistency with legislation elsewhere in Australia. The current legislation controlling the holding, marking, branding and movement of stock in the ACT is outdated, and is inadequate to provide a suitable statutory basis for the ACT to meet its local and national responsibilities in these areas. The existing provisions are limited, and sometimes inappropriate for effective administration, and are unnecessarily burdensome for rural lessees. This Bill seeks to overcome these difficulties - to simplify administration and to assist rural leaseholders.

Mr Speaker, the new legislation will provide a modern system of stock control, control of stock movement and registration of stock marks and brands. Under the legislation, the Minister will appoint a controller of stock and determine a stock levy. A stock fee will be calculated from the stock levy and the assessed carrying capacity of the land, as determined by the controller of stock. The fee will cover the cost of veterinary services to landholders, and will meet administrative costs associated with the control of stock.

Mr Speaker, ear marks and brands are essential, to reinforce ownership and to make theft of stock more difficult. Although a register of ear marks for identifying sheep and goats has been kept in the ACT for some time, the register of brands for large stock is kept in New South Wales. It is now appropriate for the ACT to

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